Boy Scouts are known for being helpful. It is one of the 12 principles taught in the program that is nearing its 110th year in existence.
For one Scout from Troop 605 in Wetumpka, this basic principle is lived out in most all areas of his life.
Garrison Clark, a recent graduate of Wetumpka High School, earned the rank of Eagle Scout with a project designed to give students more work space (helping his fellow students) and reduce waste (helping the environment) while keeping watch with his parents over his grandparents (helping his family).
“I found out through my mother the virtual program in the county needed more work space for their students,” Clark said. “I found these crates that could be repurposed so I took wood off the top and sides and made those into stools and portable lab desks. We covered the stools and lab desks with cushions so students can be comfortable and move around and they are easy to maintain.”
Most of the time virtual program students can be found in the comfort of their own homes or other locations working on school assignments, but certain times of the year those students have to attend class for testing.
“Most are full-time virtual students,” Garrison Clark’s mother Debbie Clark said. “The kids just feel more comfortable and they really enjoy having those in there.”
The entire project took 148 hours of combined effort and five to six weeks to complete according to the newly minted Eagle Scout.
“For me personally, David Coleman (a leader with Troop 605) was the key factor for me being able to get my project turned in in time,” Garrison Clark said. “Also, I am thankful for my parents. They gave up a lot of hours to help.
“Frances Maynard was willing to help make the covers for my project. She finished five covers in one day and that helped me get my project done.”
As for Clark’s immediate future plans, he is traveling to California on a two-year mission trip to spread the word of God.
“In our church (Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) we believe every worthy young man should serve his heavenly father and savior for two years,” he said. “I pondered it for several years and received it in my mind that I should do it.”
Clark’s mom indicated the church does not require young men take such long mission trips. It was something he decided he wanted to do on his own.
“I’ll miss him, but it is something we’ve just always hoped he’d want to do,” Debbie Clark said. “He really wants to do it. Sometimes people think it is a requirement or he’d be frowned upon if he did not go, but that’s not the case at all. As a mother, I am glad he was assigned to the states.”
As for what he learned from his scouting career that he will take with him to the mission field, Clark said the cooking merit badge will be helpful.
“Well, I won’t have parents to cook for me,” Clark quipped. “I think of the Scout Law a lot and how Scouting has helped my life,” Clark said. “I think about each one of those aspects and how to carry those into my life to help myself and others.”
As for his future after the mission trip to California, Clark has plans to help people by eventually becoming an anesthesiologist.
“He is a wonderful young man, with a bright and engaging personality and is respected by his peers,” said Coleman, who has held several different leadership positions with Troop 605. “I got to see a timid 11-year-old learn, grow and gain experience, overcome obstacles and mature to the point where he can be a leader that others will follow.”